|Reviews for Consolation Prize|
| Rocks-my-socks 4/25/12 . chapter 4
"Listen, I don't see why you shouldn't go if you want to. There is every good reason for you to go and every bad one for Anna to go!"
"Anyone can fall in love, Mary, but not anyone can change the world!"
Favourite lines are above as always!
This chapter made me long for the pre season 2 days! Sybil is so green and bright eyed in this chapter and I feel as if her world is so wonderfully black and white, while Mary, Gwen and Edith see the shades of grey. Sybil’s interaction with Gwen was lovely to read as was her conversation with Mary – I always felt as if the Mary/Sybil scenes are the ones which really let us into their characters, more so than any other. The two of them let their guards drop with one another.
Lovely, lovely chapter!
| tinyswivel 4/25/12 . chapter 23
Truly a perfect little novella. I think I mentioned in a previous review that I was hesitant to read it for fear of M/S, but I am so glad I did. And not just because it ended up being M/M at the end of the day!I had a lovely ending, and I was so glad to see the epilogue, written in a such a classic manner. Thank you for this fabulous addition to the fanfic world.
| Rocks-my-socks 4/25/12 . chapter 2
‘To describe the dinner earlier that evening as anything approaching a success would only be remotely true if referring to Mrs. Patmore's trifle and even then generous allowances would have to be made.’
"America?" exclaimed the dowager countess the following afternoon. "She's behaved badly but not that badly!"
Nobody replied though Thomas met O'Brien's eye briefly.’ – so very Downton-eqse!
These bits were my favourite’s bits asides from the last line – Poor Edith! I hope she finds happiness!
| Rocks-my-socks 4/25/12 . chapter 1
Hey! So I was on tumblr tonight (I am Hogwartsabbey) when I saw your wish list – I know exactly how it feels to really want to break through the next hundred review mark and it has been far too long since I read a good fan fic! So hopefully, you’ll be up to 300 in the next week or so if I can pull my finger out : )
As to the chapter – just like with the night at fair fic of yours, I love your characterisations of the Crawleys – you have just got them so ... I dunno, pitch perfect? If that makes sense... (am reviewing after a day at uni and revising – coherency will not be a theme of this review) – unlike your wonderful chapter!
I loved the conversation Mary and Matthew had about love though it made me sad for the two of them – Mary was so uptight in season 1 - it hurts my shipper heart. But I could really hear Michelle and Dan as I read!
Best line: "Really, I have no idea what she sees in him, always talking about his agricultural equipment. I start to think that it must be innuendo."
| rcfan2007 4/23/12 . chapter 23
Well, that was a lovely ending to a lovely story :) Kudos! Now that I 100% know it's safe - I can go back and read the Matthew/Sybil bits ;) Actually, the whole story warrants a re-read at some point but I need to find the time first!
| Chickwriter 4/23/12 . chapter 23
Magnificent end! I love how you've made the first of it seem truly like an epilogue in a classic novel, a very matter-of-fact accounting of what came next... the cake bit is quite darling, i must say... and then the lovely wisdom of Violet which is VERY true. "Closed the gap between them.." awww, so pretty. And their return and their life in London... I just hugged myself over and over.
That's what this story does, you know. You just hug yourself over and over when you're reading it because it's just that delicious and fun and complex and incredibly rewarding.
Hugs. WELL DONE!
| TheSingingGirl 4/23/12 . chapter 23
Obviously, the first thing to be said is not really something to be said at all, but rather an action: *HUUUG*. Well done! Well well well well done! And congratulations! And another hug, because it's that sort of a post.
Okay, second things second, about what I said on tumblr. Thank you so much for touching on Mary's traumatic experience with sex. No one ever seems to remember that, too keen to write a perfect wedding night, when of course Matthew's most probably a virgin and Mary's only sexual experience involved a man dying at the climactic moment, if that's not too terrible a pun. And it's lovely that it's Violet who thinks of it. We don't often see Violet's softer side, but we know the strength of her feelings for Mary, and it was really a lovely moment, made all the more poignant because it really should have been Cora giving this advice. That's so sad, for both Mary and for Cora, neither of whom have chosen this separation, but who will be forced to maintain it by Robert. :(
And speaking of sadness, here's another thing that I'm so glad you put in: "was it allowed to be a little sad and a little afraid as well?" Because although this marriage is most certainly the beginning of a new life, it must by definition be the end of an old one too. And unlike in a modern day setting where an engagement can last for years and the couple can live together before marriage, Mary and Matthew have very little idea of what it will truly be like to be married. And that's a bit sad, too.
Also a bid sad: "Oh no no, I don't do any actual nursing - can you imagine Papa ever consenting to that?" These little shockwaves that the characters aren't aware of, but we are. Not sad: Lavinia! Oh, I'm glad Lavinia got a little role, and as Mary's friend. I wish we'd seen more of Lavinia as a person in the actual show. I can imagine the two of them becoming great friends, particularly once they'd explained to each other their past scandals. And again not sad: Gwen! No, she's not got her role as a secretary, but she's definitely come out of her shell a bit. She was commanding the conversation in that last scene - and with Lady Mary and Lady Rosamund in the room!
And honestly, I may force you to write a mini-sequel or at least a plot treatment explaining what happens with Sybil and Branson in the end. No, actually, I won't. Because I know what happens in my head. I also know that it's what finally gives Robert a heart attack, thus leading Matthew to become Earl and the rest of the family to be reconciled.
Is there anything else I need to say? There's certainly more I could say, but this review is already longer than everything else I've written today combined, so I should probably leave it there.
Oh no, I've missed something critical. Matthew and cake. I love that this fandom has its own in jokes.
And on that rather frivolous note, I'll bid goodbye to CP. And they did end up with a little bit of a consolation prize, didn't they? Not in terms of marrying each other, but in terms of having to do it under the shadow of scandal and without their families there. It's not perfect. And that's why this story is.
| Pemonynen 4/22/12 . chapter 23
Finally getting round to this, so apologies for the delay. Not going to lie, I've lost count of how many times I've read it, and grinned like a crazy person every single time. :D (There may also have been some flailing and squealing...)
The wedding is perfect, and while it's probably not exactly what either of them would have wanted (Matthew, I'm sure, would have definitely wanted Isobel there), it was lovely in that it's so far from the wedding that Mary would have had with Patrick, and what Matthew would have had with Sybil. Although if Mary had married Patrick then we wouldn't have Matthew... But you know what I mean- they would have been big fancy affairs, whereas this was just beautifully simple...simply beautiful as well! :)
Quick moment of giggling at Matthew and the cake! :P I love the conversation between Violet and Mary. I love their relationship anyway, but I think Violet understands Mary far better than Cora does, and definitely better than Robert does. I don't think I'm alone in wanting to see Robert receive the letter from Violet...*cough* one-shot *cough*... :P This line "Faced with her grandmother's wisdom and openness, it was almost pleasant to feel so young and ignorant again." says it perfectly. I'm sure I've said it before, but it is so easy to forget how young they are in series 1. And Mary is what...21...22 at this point? And already older than she should be due to everything that has happened. Also...Matthew not knowing what he's doing! Of course he won't (BLESS HIM) and of course they'll figure it out! They love each other so much that the enthusiasm will definitely be there! ;)
I like how you've described as her happy but still a little bit scared, because although she does know Matthew, she doesn't know him as a husband or a lover, and she doesn't know how to be a wife, so I can completely understand why she would be nervous (and Matthew too probably), because yes it is exciting but it's still new and it's still change, and often I think we are resistant to change, even if it's for better!
Your ARWAV spam yesterday makes sense now (not that you really need a reason for it though I suppose)! I love their slightly awkward shyness...this is *it* for them, and I can imagine that's exactly how it will be in s3. I LOVE the description of her dream wedding! Favourite bit of that, was the speculation about her dress, I don't know why! And I LOVE the distinction that you made between a wedding and a marriage. I think sometimes people forget that one comes after the other. They get so caught up in the wedding, as daydreamer!Mary did, but the marriage is the important bit! I think with that alone, you've told us that they are going to have a very happy life together (which they are. In canon as well as in fanfiction. I have to be optimistic that JF will refrain from torturing us or I might cry)!
Love the contrast between the two Christmas celebrations. Poor Sybil at Downton! What a barrel of laughs that must have been! AND AND AND PREGNANT! I actually made a really odd noise when I read that! Of course Mary is immediately pregnant! Ducks to water and all that. ;)
And London...aaahhh, and now I well up again. Mary doesn't need a large house and lots of servants when she's got Matthew and Baby. :D And Sybil! I want Sybil to go to university now, and be the best (and maybe fall in love in Derbyshire)! The best bit about that final scene though..."Matthew's home." Those two words tell us more about Mary and how she has changed and grown more than anything else. The fact that she gets so much pleasure from his arrival home from work when she used to despise him...it's just...I could just imagine the smile, and the sudden brightness in her eyes and Sybil and Rosamund smiling at each other as maybe she pats her hair or her smooths her dress while she waits for him...Mary is HAPPY and that is the best thing ever. :D
And now (because you said I could, so I am, but you may regret it...)
Tale as old as time
True as it can be
Barely even friends
Then somebody bends
Just a little change
Small to say the least
Both a little scared
Neither one prepared
Beauty and the Beast
Ever just the same
Ever a surprise
Ever as before
Ever just as sure
As the sun will rise
Tale as old as time
Tune as old as song
Bittersweet and strange
Finding you can change
Learning you were wrong
Certain as the sun
Rising in the east
Tale as old as time
Song as old as rhyme
Beauty and the Beast
Tale as old as time
Song as old as rhyme
Beauty and the Beast.
And yet, that is oddly appropriate to the story I think. Beauty and the Beast takes us back to those early days of their relationship and...(wait for it...I'm so proud of myself for this!)...Andromeda and the Sea-monster. *Boom...blows your mind* (Probably not, but I can dream!) But oh I'm not finished... Beauty Andromeda, Beast Sea-monster. BUT the Beast transforms, so Prince Perseus. *Blows mind again* (Just let me run with this thought) :D AND "Finding you can change, learning you were wrong" - YES. They both changed and they both learnt!
And now to the more serious things, though I think it has been established that I can't be serious, I shall endeavour to do my best though. :)
Now for some context, I discovered fanfiction last October, and I read everything, so I had read some of your other work before I discovered this. When I first read this - I joined in at around C12 I think, possibly earlier - I'll admit I was wary, but I read on because I thought you were a good writer, and I was not disappointed. I was hooked, because it was so different to anything else I'd read. Then as I got a bit more involved in fandom and reviewing more, and writing myself, I developed a much greater appreciation for certain writers in particular (looking at you with raised and knowing eyebrows and nodding in your general direction), because you have a gift, you really do. You are a WONDERFUL writer. And if someone had said to me that there was a fic with a Matthew/Sybil engagement I wouldn't have wanted to read it, and someone else could have got it so very, very wrong. But not you. I have laughed, I have cried, and I have sat and bitten my nails in disblief and panic, but I have loved every single minute of it. And especially on twitter and tumblr where I've seen how some of this has been hard and frustrating for you to write, and so to see the finished product from all of those frustrated posts is a thing of joy, as well as a privilege. And I think because of that, *I'm* proud of you for finishing it, and for doing such an amazing job with it, especially when I know that you do have a lot of demands on your time. I am very excited for the one-shots though!
I sincerely hope that you do carry on writing and become published (because then I'd want an autographed copy, obviously :P), because you would deserve it. Truly. :)
Thank you for writing this, and thank you for sharing it. :) *Biggest cup of tea possible and hugs* :D
Perfect fic and writer are perfect. :)
| everyhazyday 4/22/12 . chapter 23
I really felt like it ended of perfectly- lots of room for the reader to decide how they want it to end. Thanks as always for a greatly written story.
| mbee11 4/22/12 . chapter 23
Loved this story/last chapter. I actually love that the epilogue ended ambiguously...leaves room for imagination! Thanks for sharing this story with us. I can't wait to see what you come up with next! Congrats on finishing this story!
| smndolphin 4/22/12 . chapter 23
I know I need to finish the review for UC but had to read this first. Absolutely loved how you tied things together and am so happy that I started this story.
So so happy to see Violet again and even happier that as expected she'd put Mary first. Absolutely loved that Mary and Matthew wasted no time before getting married, and likely being in a different country helped in this respect. It was nice how everything was kept nice and simple, because really all they needed was each other. It was also nice how in typical Italian fashion, it turned into a village event, so it had all the necessary makings for lovely memories :).
I would have loved to have seen MD and MS act out the scene with Violet and Mary after the wedding. One thing that always bothered me on the show is that I don't think it was properly addressed (as far as I could see) that Violet was also Mary's secret-keeper re: Pamuk as someone who one might think (especially at that point in S1) would turn on Mary, supported her and put her first. But then again, Violet has always put Mary first, regarding the entail and everything, so while her words and thoughts here are no surprise, it was just lovely to see the moment. Plus with the visuals you created, I could clearly picture them talking in my head. Part of me wishes that you had posted Violet's letter to Robert, I would just love to see how she ripped into her stubborn son.
It was also a very sweet moment in how Violet had "the talk" with Mary. No details, but none were necessary and I could just see Mary's face (MD) go red at the implications, but it was just simply adorable. Seriously, this served as a reminder that even more so than MM why Violet is my favorite on the show. There is sincerely nothing she wouldn't do for her family, and it's lovely to be reminded of that.
And then Matthew and Mary together. While the situation is different now in canon (thank Heavens!), I would like to see some aspects of this worked into their first night together as a married couple. Was grinning like a loon when Mary said that while it wasn't the wedding of her dreams, it was so much better. It was also a very compelling and lovely look into Mary's character as she described the "dream wedding" because within the context of this story, she has changed so much, and the description brought that to light. While the dream version would have been an extravagant affair with all the possible bells and whistles, it was sounded so cold and hollow, so different then the day she actually had, despite being surrounded mostly by strangers. The best part of all though was when she smiled at Matthew, unabashedly displaying her love, and said it was time to stop dreaming. Because why stay in some old fantasy when the present reality was so much sweeter. And gut instinct tells me that while this would be a new experience for Matthew, he'd figure things out very quickly and nicely :).
The deal with the inheritance was the most present surprise, because I have to admit it never occurred to me to think of what would happen to Matthew's job given how he just up and ran to Italy without so much as a by your leave. Sadly, getting sacked makes perfect sense. The parallels between the two Christmases (in Europe and in Downton) showed just how much Robert holding on to his anger was putting a damper on everything and that while they were removed from home, Matthew and Mary were still able to find joy together. I'm glad to hear that you have sequels in mind and will hope that at some point, Robert can get his head out of his arse and be happy for his daughter and son-in-law.
Loved that they didn't immediately leave Italy but stayed a bit longer, taking in so many of the wonderful sights. "Sweetest of exiles" is certainly apropos to their situation, but eventually a return to reality is necessary, as much as a need to come home, because Italy couldn't be that. But the best part, and I did not catch this on the first reading until later, was not just missing their mothers, but Mary's condition *some squeeing may have taken place here*. Glad that Matthew was able to use his own connections (nice to see reminders that he had a life and career before coming to Downton :D ...something the show does poorly) and I think MM were right to suspect Rosamund's motives, but it didn't matter as long as she helped, and she clearly did. The house described sounds like it was absolutely perfect for what Mary and Matthew needed (and would need :D)
This may have been one of the best ways to introduce Lavinia I've seen. As much as her existence bothered me during the show, especially in the latter half, one thing which has always been true is that she really was a nice and sweet girl. And since sadly of course Mary's old circle would shun her (especially given that her own father did the same), it was nice for her to have a friend and I could very much see Lavinia if she were to have met Matthew and Mary in these circumstances behaving, not caring about Mary's past but just wanting to make a new friend and be there for someone who could clearly use one herself. And in the few scenes we did see of Mary and Lavinia on the show, it would have been nice for them to be friends, and this situation allows for that perfectly :).
If Matthew and Mary getting married was the best part of this chapter, Mary and Sybil seeing each other again is a very close second, so I was glad that Rosamund brought her over. I love the idea of Sybil going to university (which likely means her moving close by). And it was sad that because of Rosamund (and to a degree Mary) being there we couldn't get more information about Branson and I was a little sad that Sybil's love is still parted from her, but we know it's only a temporary situation. Also interesting how you left it open regarding whether or not Mary and Matthew would attend (I hope they do!). But the discussion isn't over, and what could be a better interruption then Matthew coming home :). Could perfectly see Mary's face light up as she saw her husband.
Perfect ending is perfect. I'm so glad that I started this story. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful talents and I can't wait to see what you write next!
| metrokid1981 4/22/12 . chapter 23
I came across your story a month or so ago and thought that I would wait until you finished it before I started to read. Now, I am really sorry that I didn't start reading it sooner so that I could have read it slowly and enjoyed it over a longer period of time. Instead, I read it one sitting when I really should have been catching up on other things. But it is a rainy day and that is the best kind of day to immerse oneself in an epic story of the growing love between Mary and Matthew. I particularly enjoyed that you ended with life after the wedding rather then at the wedding/wedding night and that you took the time to develop Sybil's character.
I also wish that I had started to read your story sooner so that I could have written the thoughtful reviews that each chapter deserves. Instead, I will simply have to send my sincere compliments to the author for a truly wonderful journey and my appreciation for providing me with a story that I look forward to rereading and catching all the subtle points that I missed during my first read. Also, thank you for the mental image of Matthew brandishing an umbrella, which is forever seared in my brain.
| scrappedphysics 4/22/12 . chapter 23
I loved this story! Thank you so much for all the effort you've put into it.
| scrappedphysics 4/22/12 . chapter 23
I loved this story! Thank you so much for all the effort you've put into it.
| virtualclutter 4/22/12 . chapter 23
This is such a lovely ending to this wonderful fic. I like the, for lack of a better word, *ordinariness* of the scene. They are married, and expecting their first child, and settled, after all the emotional ups and downs. And the last two lines just made me smile to myself happily. Perfect.
I am sad that it's over, but at the same time it's such a great ending to this fic that despite the fact that not everything is tied up neatly it still feels satisfying. I am looking forward to reading the occasional one-shot in this universe, though!
Thank you so much for sharing this fantastic fic (well, novel, really) with us. :-)